Let’s go Dutch Baby

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I spent 46 years on this earth, some fifteen of them as a food professional, without having any idea that such a thing as a Dutch Baby existed.

Dutch babies Alasdair and Sophie. Photo by Mary Blair Petiet.

Sure, I knew about literal Dutch babies. Our friends Niels and Mary Petiet have two of them, named Sophie and Alasdair. They’re not babies anymore; they have grown into the two most photogenic children on the planet. But that other kind of Dutch Baby, the spawn of a Yorkshire pudding and a pancake, was unknown to me until Paula posted about it on her blog, Weeding for Godot.

I saw the picture of Paula’s beautiful and tempting Dutch Baby, noted the simplicity of the recipe, and filed it away in my mental to-be-attempted recipe file. Where it languished, unattempted, for over a year.

Lately, though, I’ve been rifling through that file and attempting some of those recipes. Specifically, the ones that involve eggs. I don’t quite know what possessed us to build up a flock of fifteen chickens for our two-person household, but we are now in the position of trying to find uses for the four or five dozen eggs we’re getting every week.

As luck would have it, Stephanie Stiavetti, of The Culinary Life, who is an excellent cook and a charming person, did a Dutch Baby guest post on Simply Recipes just the other day. Hers is a little different from Paula’s, but it is equally beautiful and tempting.

It was time.

I used Stephanie’s recipe, with only two changes. She calls for a cast-iron pan, which I don’t have, so I used an All-Clad copper skillet, which has the twin advantages of not holding heat as well and costing ten times as much. I also added blueberries to the batter.

Imperfect, but tasty

One or the other of those changes, or perhaps both, prevented my Dutch Baby from puffing up in the middle the way it should, and it wasn’t nearly as beautiful as Stephanie’s, Paula’s, or Niels and Mary’s. But it was crunchy around the crust, fruity in the middle, and eggy throughout. We loved it.

And, if we eat three a day, every day, we’ll use up every single one of our eggs!

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Comments

  1. Charming? That made my day. 🙂

    And, for what it’s worth, I think it was the blueberries that prevented your Dutch Baby from puffing in the middle. The batter likes to cling to something solid, which it uses as a jumping point to puff from – like the side of a pan. Berries don’t allow a lot of room between them for this expansion to occur, but if you toss some apple slices in the pan before baking (or ideally when you put the butter in the pan, so they have a few extra minutes to cook before the batter goes in) your Dutch Baby will puff gloriously! I made this over the weekend with Asian pears and it almost brought a tear to my eye.

    Are the flowers starting to bloom in the cape yet?

  2. Or you could always throw the berries on after you plate it. I’m glad you tried them- Steve never turns one down, and I think the reason they don’t whack out his blood sugar so much like regular pancakes is because they are so laden with eggs.

    On the egg front, it sounds like you could always make pound cake (unless you already know that one) which I dearly love toasted, buttered and served with ice cream, and there’s always angel food cake, but that merely uses up a boatload of whites. The yolks could go into baked custard though- if you replace one out of every two whole eggs with an egg yolk instead you get a much more tender custard.

    Personally, I can’t get enough deviled eggs. Hoffman’s makes a dill mustard that my buddy Rae turned me onto, and it makes a pretty good deviled egg in a pinch just slathered on a peeled hard-cooked egg. Tea eggs are also supposed to be delicious, but I haven’t tried them yet.

    • but if you made angels food and a yellow cake every week, you’d get rid of both the whites and the yellows. you’d also drop dead and i know you’re not about to start baking cakes all the time. but i had a good chuckle thinking about it

  3. It may not have puffed properly — and as a longtime fan of both the blog and the dish, I’m going with the berries for cause of not puffing, too — but it certainly looks delicious!

    I like to butter them and sprinkle on lemon juice and powdered sugar, and serve with nicely crisped bacon. Really, though, it’s hard to go wrong, no matter what choice you make.

  4. Now you’re talking my language — baking, baby, baking! Your dutch baby looks delish with the blueberries. One of the (many) baking blogs I happen to enjoy posted about a chocolate dutch baby recently for Valentine’s Day: http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/chocolate-dutch-baby/. I may make one of these very dishes tonight for Shrove Tuesday dinner. Thanks for the reminder and the always enjoyable post.

  5. I think what you made was more of a clafouti. They are also wonderful, but not puffy. I like to make this one with plums: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Plum-Clafouti/Detail.aspx but I bet a blueberry option would be wonderful.

    This recipe is incredibly easy and uses a lot of eggs. It is super rich and you don’t even need to dirty a measuring cup. I have made a double batch before and it was still great. http://allrecipes.com/recipe/creamy-caramel-flan/detail.aspx

  6. Your Dutch Baby looks like mine do. Mine always are sunken in the center, but darn delicious. Yep, a Dutch Baby sprinkled with powdered sugar, sloshed with melted butter and baptized with a generous squeeze of lemon juice is one of the things that makes it worth getting out of bed in the morning!

  7. We make them every Sunday morning, with or without company.
    Try it with small diced canadian bacon and shredded gruyere cheese. Delicious! Just add the cheese to the batter before putting it in the pan and add the ham just before putting it in the oven (that way they don’t burn on the bottom of the pan).

  8. Damn, that looks good! Our oven isn’t working right now and what I miss most is quiche. The eggs are piling up…

  9. While in the Navy I became aware of a preserved-food phenomenon that many people disliked.But, during a 45 day-between-shore-visits stint in the eastern Mediterranean, dried eggs were somewhat common in the daily meals.

    Have you considered drying some of your eggs? Perhaps canned or at least sealed into jars, they could be kept, or contributed when emergencies arise.

    A local deli/store keeps nightcrawlers in the cooler for those going fishing. They also keep room for a local family that sells a couple dozen eggs a week.

    EggCartons.com and others sell cartons as well as other supplies (washing compound, egg washers, baskets, etc.).

    Or you could incubate all the unneeded eggs, raise the chicks for slaughter, and go into CSA distribution. I doubt you would get rich off fifteen hens, but you never know!

    Blessed be!

  10. I can’t help but wonder if you can trade some of those eggs? I would LOVE to trade some of my artwork, or in the summer some of my fruit or veggies for eggs! That is…if I lived even remotely near you.

  11. Sabine Harvey says:

    Wow, I am one of those real Dutch Babies (came here with 2 suitcases 21 1/2 years ago) and never heard of these kind of dutch babies, ever! I guess once I get my chickens and once they are laying eggs, I’ll have to try this. Looks pretty awesome.

  12. You know, eggs make a really good conditioner for your hair. And egg whites make a fantastic toning facial.

    You have been talking about getting dogs. Eating eggs makes their coats shiny!

    Or, you could get a pig! Pigs love eggs!

  13. We probably eat these–2 iron skillets’ worth for 4 of us, with some leftover for breakfast–for 2 or 3 dinners a month, with frizzled Black Forest ham or turkey sausage plus a bowl of fruit alongside. (And the requisite lemon wedges & 10X sugar.) It’s an automatic, hopeful menu request from Matt or the kids if I have no ideas or not many groceries. I do it with a third white ww flour & no one complains; the batter is even yellower that way. Pancake still lofts fine; I may bump it up to 50% ww & see how that goes. We’d have eaten them for Shrove Tuesday dinner if we hadn’t had them late last week, so we te Bette’s Oceanview Diner buttermilk blues tonight instead. I make a tasty apple version too from an old SUNSET/Trader Joe’s paperback. Come to think of it, I believe Matt had an apple oven pancake for his entree on our technical first date, which was brunch after church in Chicago 22 years ago. (And we went Dutch. He was pretty broke then.) For so many of our early dates we went out for pancakes–oven-apple or -blueberry for him, usu. carrot-zucchini for me. Sometimes I got the vegetable-Havarti oven pancake & took half home for happy leftovers.

    Somewhere I read the suggestion of serving Dutch babies with mimosas as a festive wee-hour breakfast on January 1st.

    And some of my cookbooks say it was “Deutsch” Pfannekuchen before Americans got hold of it.

    Interestingly, from her blog, it sounds like Sally Schneider also recently discovered the charm of Dutch babies. She made a Parmesan one, & a lemon-sugar one, & posted about it on Sept. 30.
    http://www.theimprovisedlife.com/?s=oven+pancake&x=0&y=0

    I think it’s great–sophisticated New York food pros trying out the peasant surprise of giant popovers.

    Is it time to market your eggs? Take orders like a CSA? Chinese-style oyster omelet? Wish we could buy some!

  14. I love that all the bakers are coming out of the woodwork! I generally don’t post about specific recipes because I figure there are so many talented cooks out there writing about cooking that the world can live without my lame contribution. But you’re talking to me!

    I definitely agree that the blueberries weighed down my Dutch Baby. I like the flavor of them, but I’ll add fewer next time. And I’m thinking about sauteeing them briefly in butter in the hot pan and then pouring the batter over them.

    Brenda, thanks for mentioning clafoutis. I included a recipe for one in my first book, but I haven’t made one in years. They seem more like a pancake, while the Dutch Baby gets the sort of layered pull-apart texture of a yorkshire pudding or a popover. I’ll need to investigate the chemistry to try and figure out why that is.

    Brad, I like the idea of trying to dry them against the day when we don’t have way too many chickens. I’m going to look into that. We could sell our excess to the feed store, but I prefer giving them away and bartering with friends. Just last night I made a deal for a Zumba class! (And, Karen, if you were closer we would definitely talk.)

    Sonja, I think you’re the most enthusiastic pancake-eater I’ve ever encountered. And thanks for reporting on white whole-wheat flour — I’d thought about using it for a portion of the AP flour. All things considered, I prefer that my breakfast not be absolutely nutrition-free.

  15. As a lover of pancakes AND yorkshire pudding, I can not believe I have never heard of these.. Can’t wait to try .. Also looking for ways to be “creative” with eggs. I think I am up to 4 doz. in the fridge.

  16. I read the title and thought “huh, wonder if Dutch Babies means the same thing as Irish twins?”

    Boy, was I way off! Looks yummy, though, must try it.

  17. There was a restaurant called Sytje’s Pannekoeken Huis (one of several in the area) in my hometown in MN that specialized in these. Whenever someone ordered one, the waitress would run out to the table calling “pannekoeken!” as she went. A shy child, I stuck with the potato pancakes to avoid the scene… but I loved going there. Now that we have our own egg surplus going, I will have to give them a try sans public humiliation.

    I second Sonja’s white ww flour suggestion– I make pancakes with 3/4 www and 1/4 barley flour to mimic the gluten content of AP flour. Lovely flavor and texture. Thanks for the post!